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07 Jul 2017

Award Winning Compass

Hunter-based Compass Housing has picked up three of the eight awards at the Australasian Housing Institute’s NSW Awards held in Sydney on Thursday night (July 6).

The social and affordable community housing provider won the Professional Excellence in Social Housing Award for the most outstanding organisation, community housing provider or Government agency involved in housing for NSW as well as the Leading Asset Management Award. Compass’ group managing director, Greg Budworth, took out the Outstanding Achievement Award for an individual. Compass was also commended for its community development work and tenant initiatives including its community hubs.

Mr Budworth said for Compass to receive the top award for excellence was a tribute to his team’s care, diligence and hard work.

“The award is recognition for the breadth and depth of our services, our focus on tenants and the community as well as our excellence in administration and management,” Mr Budworth said.

“We have an awesome team who do more than put a roof over people’s heads,” he said.

“Our goal is to help our tenants to maximise their contribution to the community, economically and socially,” Mr Budworth said.

“Social housing is an important piece of community infrastructure that makes a fundamental difference to people’s lives.”

Mr Budworth has also been an advocate for improved social and affordable housing local, nationally and internationally. He is co-chair of the UN Habitat program’s civil society partner constituent group and was one of only a few people who were not representing a national Government to address the global UN Habitat conference in Ecuador in 2016. He has been working with other housing experts in lobbying and working with Governments for a national plan for housing.

Compass and Mr Budworth are now finalists, along-side other state and New Zealand winners, at the national awards to be held in Sydney on November 29.

The Australasian Housing Institute Awards recognise excellence in professional practice in social housing that makes a significant and lasting difference to tenants or service users, to their community, to colleagues and to the housing profession.  The awards are in their 14th year and receive more than 100 entries.

Hunter-based Compass Housing has grown to be an international community housing provider managing more than 4,600 properties as well as community development projects in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.

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ENDS

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06 Jun 2017

Call for developers and investors for multi-million dollar local housing project

Hunter-based community housing provider Compass Housing is seeking developers, investors and builders to help deliver 600 new homes for social and affordable housing tenants across the Hunter and Central Coast over the next three years.

Compass Group Chief Corporate Services Officer, Lyndall Robertshaw, said the project will create approximately $200 million worth of construction activity and support hundreds of local jobs.

Lyndall said Compass wants to work with local businesses and investors to maximise the benefits of this exciting and highly beneficial project for the region’s business sector, economy and people. She said Compass has already had significant interest in the project.

Compass was awarded a NSW Government Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) contract earlier this year. The organisation will manage the delivery of the dwellings and provide ongoing property management and tenant support services for up to 25 years.

The majority of the homes will be one and two bedroom units with a small number of three bedroom units.

“Involvement in the project is an attractive investment because Compass will lease the properties for a period of 23 to 25 years and handle all tenancy and property management.

"Payment of rent for 52 weeks a year with no vacancies, with an annual CPI based adjustment, is guaranteed.

“Compass is a well-managed, financially strong award winning housing provider and we are keen to hear from developers, investors and builders,” Lyndall said.

SAHF is the first initiative of its kind for the social housing sector and is a key component of the “Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW” strategy to provide more social and affordable housing dwellings linked to tailored support, to help households gain independence.

She said the projects will help address shortfalls of housing for key workers and low income working families.


To register interest contact Lyndall on 02 4920 2600 or email developments@compasshousing.org

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15 May 2017

Budget a positive for housing, but still no national plan

Hunter and Central Coast based Compass Housing has welcomed the federal government’s attention on the housing crisis and infrastructure in the federal budget but has called for a more comprehensive plan and the appointment of a housing minister to ensure targets are met.

Compass Manager of Research David Adamson said the budget contained a range of positive measures across the housing spectrum from first home buyers to private rental to affordable housing and homelessness.

“In particular we are pleased to see confirmation of a new bond aggregator to make it easier for community housing providers to obtain finance to deliver additional housing,” Mr Adamson said.

“We are pleased to see reformed National Housing and Homelessness Agreements which will require state governments to hit targets for additional social and affordable housing and will encourage them to transfer additional stock to the not-for-profit sector,” he said.

While there are plenty of positives in the budget, Mr Adamson said Compass was disappointed there is still no integrated plan to solve Australia’s housing crisis.

“What’s missing is a cohesive plan with measurable outcomes.” 

“The budget contained some worthwhile initiatives but it remains to be seen if these measures will be enough to address the current housing shortfall.

“Housing, including social and affordable housing, needs to be viewed as part of Australia’s social and economic infrastructure and integrated with other infrastructure planning.

“Determining funding for the right housing measures would be much easier if the Government had a national housing plan and a minister for housing to ensure targets are met.”

[ENDS]

Media contact: Martin Kennedy 0418 353 913

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03 Apr 2017

Conference to explore how to keep key workers in our cities

Some of the world’s leading experts on urban development and renewal will gather in Melbourne next month to begin the implementation of a new global agenda for sustainable urban development.

In October of last year in Quito, Ecuador, Australia became a signatory to the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the UN’s 20 year road map to help countries rethink how they plan, manage and live in cities.

The conference Implementing the New Urban Agenda: Making Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 4-5 May 2017.

Group Managing Director of leading not-for-profit housing provider Compass Housing, Greg Budworth said the NUA had implications for Australian policy makers.

“We live in an era of unprecedented urbanisation, but not everyone is sharing the benefits that cities provide,” he said.

“In Australia key workers often find themselves locked out of the housing market in our capital cities. This means our teachers, firefighters, nurses and other essential workers are finding it more and more difficult to afford to live in the communities they serve, particularly if they work in a capital city.

“Housing affordability for those in our most valued professions is an issue governments are looking to tackle and this will be a question experts will be focused on at the Conference in May. If we don’t address this, we will find it more and more difficult to provide essential services in our major metropolitan centres in the future.

“In addition, 40 per cent of people receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance are still in housing stress and there are 200,000 families on the waiting list for social housing, which is totally unacceptable.  

“Implementing the NUA is about creating policies that improve how cities are formed, how land is used and how resources are managed, with the goal being to make sure our cities work for all residents, not just those in the top income bracket.”

In addition to housing, the NUA conference will feature contributions and workshops on a range of other urban development topics including transport infrastructure, climate change adaptation and access to health services.

The conference will feature a range of world leading experts in the field including:

  • Dr. Joan Clos - Executive Director and Under Secretary General of the United Nations Habitat program
  • Prof. Jason Coburn – Director of the Centre for Global Healthy Cities, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Dr Tim Williams – CEO, Committee for Sydney
  • Jude Munro – Chair, Victoria Planning Authority
  • Professor Darryn McEvoy – Climate Change Adaptation Program, RMIT University

A full list of speakers and the provisional program is available on the conference website www.nuaconference.com

[ENDS] 4 April 2017

Media contact: Martin Kennedy 0418 353 913

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28 Mar 2017

NSW Governor to launch new book about homelessness in the Hunter.

A new book exploring the reality of homelessness in the Hunter was launched by the Governor of NSW on Wednesday 22 March at Newcastle TAFE.

My Connections Home - Journeys through homelessness includes nine emotion charged profiles of formerly homeless Hunter residents, told in their own words. Each story details the circumstances that led their narrators into their homelessness, the harrowing details of their time on the streets, and most importantly the resilience and courage that allowed them to come out the other side.

Sally Hoyle from Hunter Homeless Connect Inc said the book My Connections Home – Journeys through homelessness had been published to show the true face of homelessness.  

“There are a lot of inaccurate stereotypes about the homeless,” she said.  

“We all know the clichés but what this book shows is that it can happen to anyone.

“As well as educating the general public about what it means to be homeless, we think this book will be a great resource for helping clients understand that homelessness isn’t a life sentence. You can overcome it.”

Copies of My Connections Home go on sale for $25. All money raised will go towards hosting the next Hunter Homeless Connect Day.

Hunter Homeless Connect Day has been held in Newcastle since 2009 and provides those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with access to services including housing, financial advice, health checks, eye tests, vaccinations and haircuts, as well as clothing and blankets. 

The 2016 Hunter Homeless Connect Day featured more than 85 service providers and was attended by more than 1000 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Further information:

  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates approximately 28,000 people are homeless in NSW.
  • Approximately 7 per cent of NSW’s homeless population live in the Hunter region.

 

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